It's Easy Being Green
Contributing to a healthier planet makes for healthier people, including you and your family, learn how to "Go Green."
Cultivating a garden is a delight to many, whether it's outdoors or on your windowsill, but not when you're breathing in chemical fertilizers and pesticides. "There's no question that pesticide exposure to the mother means exposure to the fetus," says Miller. "[Pesticides are] designed to kill living organisms, so it's not something you want to be close to when you're pregnant." Thankfully, natural fertilizers and nontoxic solutions are easy to find, and to use.
Green Use natural alternatives to harsh chemicals. Eco-friendly gardening materials are available at The Home Depot and CVS stores. For example, TerraCycle (terracycle.net) makes plant food and fertilizer using worm excrement packaged in recycled soda bottles.
Greener Practice green pest control in your garden. "Pay attention every day so you can catch pests and pick them off," says Joe Lamp'l, aka Joe Gardener, host of "Fresh From the Garden" on the Do It Yourself Network. If your plants are already infested with aphids, for example, choose the solution with the lowest environmental impact, which may be as simple as a strong blast of water. If you must spray something, Lamp'l suggests mixing Liquid Ivory Soap, vegetable oil and water. For more gardening tips, visit joegardener.com.
Prevent indoor infestions by keeping rooms clean and caulking around showers and sinks. To catch creepy-crawlies, use nontoxic sticky barrier products such as Tanglefoot (tanglefoot.com).
Greenest Plant organic or heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds produce some of the tastiest, most nutritious tomatoes, peppers and herbs. These seeds are the open-pollinated kind that generations have saved so they can grow the best varieties again and again. Most seeds today are hybrids or genetically engineered, and while they may grow faster and be more disease resistant, heirlooms top them for taste and genetic variety. Planting and saving heirloom seeds keep diversity alive and available to future generations.
Good sources for seeds include Seeds of Change (seedsofchange.com), The Cook's Garden (cooksgarden.com) and Planet Natural (planetnatural.com).